After a long-running battle with the U.S. Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC), Telegram’s blockchain and crypto project, TON and Grams, is officially over according to a post by CEO, Pavel Durov.
The project, which raised $1.8 billion USD in an initial coin offering in 2018, recently announced a refund to investors in the project offering 72% for Americans and a 110% one-year loan for other investors.
TON blockchain project is officially over!
In a disheartening post to TON investors and enthusiasts, Pavel Durov, wrote to announce the closure of the TON project, a decentralized project aiming at wide scalability improving on Bitcoin’s and Ethereum’s blockchain properties. A U.S. court recently accepted SEC’s request of an injunction on Telegram, blocking the distribution of the GRAM tokens as it pertains to selling a security.
Explaining the rationale behind the U.S. court ruling, Durov compared the TON network to a community buying up a gold mine (TON blockchain) and mining gold (GRAMs) and then distributing the gold that it mined. However, the U.S court comes along and declares that the gold is not fit to be distributed because the people who get the gold may want to sell it to other people.
The post reads,
“If this doesn't make sense to you, you are not alone. […] A judge used this reasoning to rule that people should not be allowed to buy or sell Grams like they can buy or sell Bitcoins.”
A global loss of sovereignty
Not only did the courts deny the distribution of the GRAM tokens to U.S. based customers but to other customers globally stating that U.S. customers may get their hands on the tokens. According to Pavel, this goes against the sovereignty of other countries as the courts in the U.S overrule distribution to other jurisdictions.
“This court decision implies that other countries don’t have the sovereignty to decide what is good and what is bad for their own citizens,” he said on the control U.S. courts have on international American corporations such as Google and Apple.
“It is true that other countries do not have full sovereignty over what to allow on their territory. Unfortunately, we – the 96% of the world’s population living elsewhere – are dependent on decision makers elected by the 4% living in the US.”
Is Telegram off blockchain forever?
Closing the letter, Palev confirmed the messaging app company will be closing its operations on the TON project completely. However, he warns the users to be careful of the possible upcoming or existing scams that may use this opportunity to illegally collect money from unwitting investors.
“Don’t trust them [sites impersonating Telegram or Pavel] with your money or data. No present or past member of our team is involved with any of these projects.”
The construction of the open-sourced TON project is set to continue with TON Labs, an independent development company, releasing a version of the project, “Free TON”. However, Telegram will not have any affiliation with the company or any other company working on TON.
He closed the address, however, showing support for the decentralization projects coming up to challenge the current rigid transfer systems. He concluded,
“I want to conclude this post by wishing luck to all those striving for decentralization, balance and equality in the world. You are fighting the right battle.”